What is the Traditional Latin Mass and Why Should One Attend it?
By a Carmelite Nun of the Holy Face, Ireland
The Traditional Latin Mass (also known as the Tridentine Rite or the Mass of St. Pius V) is the Sacrifice of Calvary renewed in an unbloody manner upon the altar. This is a concise definition applicable to every Catholic Mass, including the different Rites proper to certain Religious Orders such as the Carmelite Rite and the Dominican Rite, as well as the various Eastern Rites approved by the Church. Among the various Rites of the Mass, however, the most well-known are the Tridentine Rite and the so-called New Rite which was introduced by Pope Paul VI in the late 1960s. Although the latter is now the more commonly used Rite, with the recent measures being taken by the Vatican to restrict and abolish the Traditional Latin Mass, people all over the world are being led by that very fact to discover (or rediscover) the beautiful Tridentine Rite which is undergoing such persecution.
Dating back to the time of Our Lord and the Apostles themselves, the Latin Rite Mass has remained substantially the same for nearly 20 centuries. For over 1900 years, this Mass – the Traditional Latin Mass – was the only Rite which the vast majority of Catholics ever knew.
Soon after the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council, however, a “New Order of Mass” (Novus Ordo Missae) was introduced, and within a few short years, had come to be commonly regarded as the Ordinary Form, while the venerable Tridentine Rite was banished from countless Catholic churches where it was considered “out-of-date”. From that time until this very day, the Latin Mass is usually referred to as the Extraordinary Form. The differences between the Latin Rite and the New Rite are very great; so great, in fact, that if our great grandparents could return to life and attend the celebration of the New Mass, they would be unable to recognize in it the Holy Catholic Mass which they knew. The changes, however, were introduced so gradually and with such enthusiasm on the part of the clergy, that the New Mass and the new ideology which accompanies it met with general acceptance among the people.
For those who are moved by a desire to discover the reason for these changes and have carefully studied the Latin Rite in comparison with the New Rite, it is at once apparent that it is not just a difference of language and certain customs – the whole essence of the Mass has been altered in the New Rite. The result is that the New Mass, with its emphasis on the memorial of the Lord’s Supper and its focus on the people, encourages the belief that it is merely a social gathering and a communal meal, much more akin to a Protestant service than to the traditional renewal of the Sacrifice of Calvary.
It is, however, hardly surprising to find such a belief encouraged when one discovers that the New Rite was neither composed by Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Apostles, nor derived exclusively from reliable Catholic sources, but was created by Msgr. Annibale Bugnini (a reputed Freemason), with the help of 6 Protestant ministers! The New Mass is not only a Protestant service, but it was deliberately intended to be so. It follows that it cannot also be Catholic, even if it may perhaps be valid in certain cases. The Latin Rite Mass, on the other hand, is the sacred expression of our Catholic Faith.
Every Catholic has the right to attend it, and every Catholic priest is entitled to use this Rite for the celebration of Mass, without needing special permission from Rome or the local Bishop. This was granted “in perpetuity and irrevocably” by Pope St. Pius V in his Papal Bull, “Quo Primum,” where he declared that, “at no time in the future can a priest ever be forced to use any other way of saying Mass.” Not only is it our right to attend (or to celebrate) the Traditional Latin Mass, but in order to safeguard our Catholic Faith, we have an obligation to avoid participating in any form of false worship. This applies to Protestant services, and it applies as well to the New Mass; which, according to the traditional definition, is really not a Mass at all, since it lacks the sacrificial nature and the Divine orientation which are essential to the Catholic Mass.
Dear Reader, if you have been attentively reading this article thus far, and have understood either by careful study or by your own experience that the New Rite and the Latin Rite are not just two alternative Rites but are the product of two different religions, you will probably be asking yourself how they have both come to be regarded as two forms of the same Catholic Mass and why the New Rite has been so heartily extolled and relentlessly imposed by the hierarchy. To properly answer these questions, a second article would be required. For the moment we shall simply say that a false church has been set up which calls itself Catholic and has some outward resemblance to the Catholic Church, but which is not Catholic because it preaches a new doctrine different from the one received from Our Lord Jesus Christ. This great deception has only been possible after centuries of preparation and clever infiltration on the part of the enemies of Christ and His Church.
It is now up to each one of us to study our Faith – the true Catholic Faith as it has always been taught – and to attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the form which best expresses what we believe.